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Exercises to Strengthen your Bones and Combat Osteoporosis

Senior couple doing yoga together inside their retirement community

We all want to stay as mobile and independent as possible for as long as we can. Osteoporosis can cause our bones to fracture or break during everyday activities. And spinal fractures can severely limit mobility and lead to chronic pain. The good news is there are some easy lifestyle adjustments, including exercises for osteoporosis, that can help prevent bone mass loss and lower your risk of injury.

What Is Osteoporosis?

The word osteoporosis aptly translates to “porous bone.” During a person’s first 30 years or so, they accumulate bone mass, but after age 30, their bone mass decreases. Bones develop holes and become weaker — and weaker bones are more likely to break.Osteoporosis is linked to gender, age, family history, and race. Women are more susceptible, as are people of Asian and Caucasian descent. The loss of bone mass is also affected by one’s hormones. A lack of estrogen or testosterone or an overactive or underactive thyroid can put a person at greater risk. But one of the most preventable causes of osteoporosis is a sedentary lifestyle.

How Can Exercise Help?

Bone is a living tissue. When you place force on it regularly, it grows stronger. Your body grows more bone cells when it feels the pressure exerted on it by exercise, causing your bones to become denser. To keep from losing bone mass, you will want to include a variety of exercises to build strong bones in your regular fitness routine.

Best Exercises for Osteoporosis

Before you begin a new workout regimen or significantly change your existing regimen, speak to your doctor — especially if you already have signs of osteoporosis. The doctor will  likely want to perform a bone density test and a fitness assessment. Those results may affect what level of exercise they recommend you begin with, but any amount of added fitness will have a positive impact on your bones. For the greatest benefits, create a fitness routine that includes weight-bearing aerobics, strength training, flexibility exercises, and balance/stability exercises.Exercises for Seniors to Consider:

Strength Training

  • Free weights and resistance bands
  • Squats

Weight-Bearing Aerobics

  • Walking
  • Dancing
  • Climbing stairs

Flexibility Exercises

  • Stretching
  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Ankles
  • Hamstrings
  • Hips
  • Quadriceps
  • Lower back

Balance Exercises

  • Tai Chi
  • Single-leg stance
  • Heel raises
  • Marching in place

What Else Can Help Prevent Osteoporosis?

Diet is another smart way to prevent loss of bone mass. It’s important for people of any age — but especially older adults — to get enough protein, calcium and vitamin D in their diet. Maintaining a healthy body weight is also an important factor for bone health. Being underweight or overweight can increase your risk of fractures. To further support strong bones, avoid smoking and consuming too much alcohol.

Bone Up at Freedom Village at Brandywine

We offer residents a variety of fitness classes that specialize in exercise for seniors, as well as a fully equipped fitness center so they can strengthen their bones and muscles. We also have gorgeous walking paths, if residents would prefer to exercise outside. We also have a fantastic chef who works with a nutritionist/dietician to create delicious meals that provide residents with the necessary vitamins and minerals. And if you have unique dietary goals or restrictions, just let the team know. They’ll be happy to work with you.

At Freedom Village at Brandywine, our residents are our top priority. We will do whatever we can to help them maintain their independence and support their wellness goals. If you’d like to know more about our lifestyle, please reach out. A member of our team will respond as soon as possible.